The aim

“Me-We”– abbreviation for Psychosocial Support for Promoting Mental health and wellbeing among adolescent young carers in Europe- is an ambitious research and innovation project, funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 Programme.

The overall goal of the project is to strengthen the resilience of Adolescent Young Carers in transition to adulthood (15-17 years old) in order to impact positively on their mental health and well-being and to mitigate the negative influence of psychosocial and environmental factors in their lives.

The objectives

  • To systematise knowledge on adolescent young carers in six European countries (Sweden, Slovenia, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and UK) by (a) identifying their profiles, needs and preferences; b) analysing national policy, legal and service frameworks and (c) reviewing good practices, social innovations and evidence;
  • To co-design, develop and evaluate together with adolescent young carers, a framework of effective and multicomponent psychosocial interventions for primary prevention and focused on improving their mental health and well-being, to be tailored to each country contexts;
  • To carry out wide knowledge translation actions for dissemination, awareness promotion and advocacy, by spreading results among relevant stakeholders at national, European and international level.

The impact

The Me-We project is expected to achieve the following results during its lifetime (January 2018 – March 2021) and beyond:

Individual impact (micro-level)

Improved mental well-being in the targeted group of young people.

Contribution to (a) reducing school and college/university dropout in the short term, (b) strengthening personal confidence and cognitive function, (c) improving educational efforts and (d) enhancing employability.

Societal impact (macro-level)

The innovative interventions will create (a) a strong evidence base for mental well-being promotion programmes in Europe, contributing to (b) greater health equity and (c) improved societal benefits, (d) including for migrants.

Preventative strategies are established which have a real effect of reducing the occurrence of mental disorders and co-morbidities associated with mental disorders later in life.

The innovative aspects of the project

The Me-We project is innovative in different aspects.

  • It adopts a co-design approach: researchers will engage directly with and involve adolescent and adult young carers, together with carer organisations and majors stakeholders through all the stages of the project.
  • It develops an innovative framework of primary prevention interventions to be tested and adapted in 6 European countries (Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom) at different stages of awareness and development of services for adolescent young carers.
  • It implements innovative Blended Learning Networks, i.e. heterogeneous ‘communities of practice’ involving adolescent young carers and relevant stakeholders for discussing and finding best solutions.
  • It is the first large scale programme to demonstrate the impact of a comprehensive primary prevention intervention for improving resilience of adolescent young carers.
  • It ensures transversal knowledge sharing activities among partners and within cluster of countries.